US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 0.6% during the week ending March 18, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories fell by 2.5 million barrels to 413.4 million barrels compared to the market expectation of a rise of 25,000 barrels.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, declined by 4.2 million barrels to 571.3 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories also dropped by 2.9 million barrels to 238 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production falls
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports increased by 92,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 6.49 million bpd during the week ending March 18, while crude oil exports rose by around 908,000 bpd to around 3.84 million bpd.
US crude oil production, meanwhile, declined by 10,000 bpd to approximately 12.03 million bpd during the same period.
In the March Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the EIA forecasts that crude oil output in the US will average 12 million bpd in 2022, up from 11.1 million bpd in 2021.
In 2023, crude oil output in the country is expected to reach its highest annual average on record at 13 million bpd.
The previous annual-average record of 12.3 million bpd was set in 2019.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu